Driving statewide consistency for students and staff
Colorado Community College System implements shared technology to improve equity and advocacy
- Shared technology allows systems to provide the same services to all students
- Technology improves access and equity in higher education
- Consistent processes and reports enhance state advocacy efforts
Julie Ouska, CIO and Vice Chancellor of Information Technology, Colorado Community College System
We're a community college system of 13 colleges scattered throughout Colorado. And we have very rural colleges with very small student populations and big metro schools.
One of the things the shared technology platform provides for us is that we can offer the same technology, the same services to all of our colleges. We don't have haves and have nots. This is so much better for our students. They can pay their bill online. They can look at their transcript. They can order their transcript. They can do their academic planning. It really makes it consistent for every student so we don't have a student at a college that can't do something, but another student somewhere else that can.
The impact of the shared technology across our enterprise, especially for decision makers and administrators, is that there is a consistent administrative system. We can look at tuition and revenues across the system for all of our colleges. All of our colleges share the same exact financial reporting. So we're comparing apples to apples instead of apples and oranges, which was the case before.
It gives us a power with the legislature when we talk about certain things because we do it as a system. For example, we have guaranteed pathways for our students to the four-year institution. And it's the same across all of our colleges. We have common course numbering. So that's identical. Algebra 121 is the same course at all 13 of our community college. Transfers the same to all the four-years. So it gives us a very consistent and powerful approach, because we are the same. We don't have 13 colleges operating independently, trying to get different legislation passed or looking at policies in a different manner. We're very consistent that way.